Conference Paper

Large-scale terrain modeling from multiple sensors with dependent Gaussian processes

Australian Centre for Field Robot., Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2010.5650769 Conference: Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore


Terrain modeling remains a challenging yet key component for the deployment of ground robots to the field. The difficulty arrives from the variability of terrain shapes, sparseness of the data, and high degree uncertainty often encountered in large, unstructured environments. This paper presents significant advances to data fusion for stochastic processes modeling spatial data, demonstrated in large-scale terrain modeling tasks. We explore dependent Gaussian processes to provide a multi-resolution representation of space and associated uncertainties, while integrating sensors from different modalities. Experiments performed on multiple multi-modal datasets (3D laser scans and GPS) demonstrate the approach for terrains of about 5 km2.

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    • "Work done in [12], [13], [14], [15] proposes the use of a KD-tree structure for a fast local approximation. For a training set of n observations, the inference process requires calculating and inverting an n × n covariance matrix, which gets computationally expensive as n gets large. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efficiently monitoring environmental conditions across large indoor spaces (such as warehouses, factories or data centers) is an important problem with many applications. Deployment of a sensor network across the space can provide very precise readings at discrete locations. However, construction of a continuous model from this discrete sensor data is a challenge. The challenge is made harder by economic and logistical constraints that may limit the number of sensor motes in the network. The required model, therefore, must be able to interpolate sparse data and give accurate predictions at unsensed locations, as well as provide some notion of the uncertainty on those predictions. We propose a Gaussian process based model to answer both of these issues. We use Gaussian processes to model temperature and humidity distributions across an indoor space as functions of a 3-dimensional point. We study the model selection process and show that good results can be obtained, even with sparse sensor data. Deployment of a sensor network across an indoor lab provides real-world data that we use to construct an environmental model of the lab space. We seek to refine the model obtained from the initial deployment by using the uncertainty estimates provided by the Gaussian process methodology to modify sensor distribution such that each sensor is most advantageously placed. We explore multiple sensor placement techniques and experimentally validate a near-optimal criterion.
    2015 IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Information Integration (MFI 2015), San Diego, California, USA; 09/2016
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    • "The GP data fusion problem was cast as a conditional estimation using several Dependent GP's. The formalism could also be used to simultaneously model multiple aspects of the terrain as demonstrated in [15]. The proposed DGP based on the nonstationary (neural-network) kernel performed significantly better than the stationary squared exponential kernel based DGP ([15]) in fusing multiple terrain data sets. "
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    ABSTRACT: Obtaining a comprehensive model of large and complex terrain typically entails the use of both multiple sensory modalities and multiple data sets. This paper demonstrates the use of dependent Gaussian processes for data fusion in the context of large scale terrain modeling. Specifically, this paper derives and demonstrates the use of a non-stationary kernel (Neural Network) in this context. Experiments performed on multiple large scale (spanning about 5 sq km) 3D terrain data sets obtained from multiple sensory modalities (GPS surveys and laser scans) demonstrate the approach to data fusion and provide a preliminary demonstration of the superior modeling capability of Gaussian processes based on this kernel.
    Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on; 06/2011
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    ABSTRACT: This paper evaluates heterogeneous information fusion using multi-task Gaussian processes in the context of geological resource modeling. Specifically, it empirically demonstrates that information integration across heterogeneous information sources leads to superior estimates of all the quantities being modeled, compared to modeling them individually. Multi-task Gaussian processes provide a powerful approach for simultaneous modeling of multiple quantities of interest while taking correlations between these quantities into consideration. Experiments are performed on large scale real sensor data.
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